SARASOTA, Fla. - Reliever Darren O’Day is throwing two innings today at Twin Lakes Park.
Grant Balfour is facing the Orioles today - in a minor league game.
Do they have brushback pitches at the Charlotte Sports complex?
Bud Norris starts Thursday night’s game against the Pirates in Bradenton. Steve Johnson, T.J. McFarland and Alfredo Aceves also are scheduled to pitch.
Manager Buck Showalter held his usual pregame session with the media behind the batting cage. Here’s a sampling:
On David Lough’s neck stiffness: “That was some of it. When you have something like that, the first thing you think about is concussion. We did all the tests and did everything to make sure that all the things at your disposal; you want to eliminate a lot of things. We felt like, we’ll see how he comes through today. Richie (Bancells) took him out and did a lot of running early this morning. If he comes through today, he’ll be in the lineup tomorrow. He’ll probably go to a Triple-A game.”
On pitchers who threw during the off day: “We got a lot done yesterday. (Kevin) Gausman threw well. Zach (Britton) continued to throw well. (Josh) Stinson was good, too. I’ll tell you the guy who was impressive yesterday was (Zach) Davies. Struck out four of the first six. He’s an interesting kid - 20, 21, going to pitch at Double-A this year. Everybody threw the ball well. We’re going to give those four guys the day off. They get to pick a day off.”
On Francisco Peguero: “He’s going to have a two-week cast on there. Just want to let it completely heal. He’s got acute tendinitis, is how they put it. I think we’re going to try to get that managed. I think that kind of takes him out of the picture for opening day.”
On Brian Matusz throwing five innings: “If nothing else, I think he’s going to come out of here with a good feel for his changeup. I don’t know what the next 10 days are going to bring with transactions, I’m not going to say the word trade, injuries and what have you. So many times last year it would have helped us when we had left, right, left and we could have left him in there to face a right-hander.”
On Manny Machado: “Manny’s flying out tomorrow at 6 am. He’ll take a red-eye back unless they have some reason to hold him. Hopefully, we’ll get good news.”
On Dylan Bundy and Johan Santana throwing off flat mounds: “We spent a lot of money putting those rehab mounds in, and by God, we were going to use them. Your first hope is that you don’t need them, but you know that’s probably not going to be the case.”
On Santana: “It wasn’t free with Johan. He had some options, different places he could go. I appreciate the support of ownership taking a chance on a guy like Johan. We’re talking about the end of June. We don’t know what the separation and availability is going to be.”
Update: Wil Myers homered on the second pitch from Wei-Yin Chen to give Tampa Bay a quick 1-0 lead, but the Orioles tied the game in the bottom of the first.
Adam Jones reached on an error with two outs, got a huge jump to steal second and kept going to third because no one was covering the bag with the infield shifted against Chris Davis. Davis followed with a single to right field for his team-leading ninth RBI.
Chen threw 14 pitches in the first inning, 10 for strikes. He retired the next three Rays after Myers’ home run off the batters eye in center field, including a called third strike on former Oriole Wilson Betemit.